The Suicide Tactic
As KRS-ONE said way back in '88, "Self destruction - you're headed for self-destruction."
The Suicide tactic takes advantage of the tendency of many false views which are not only invalid, in fact they ultimately self-destruct. These are called self-refuting views.
They collide with themselves and quickly expire. Your job is to notice when this happens and simply point it out.
Though self-refuting statements take different forms, all suicidal views involve contradictions.
“There is no truth.”
(Is this statement true?)
“There are no absolutes.”
(Is this an absolute?)
“No one can know any truth about religion.”
(How do you know this religious truth?)
"You can’t know anything for sure.”
(Are you sure about that?)
Sometimes the suicide is more subtle. For example, someone might say, "Science is the only legitimate way of finding truth." This sounds good at first. That is until someone asks, “What scientific evidence proves this statement is true?” Since no scientific evidence proves science is the only way to know truth, the view self-destructs.
In the same way, assertions like this one – “It’s not wrong to think you’re right, but it’s not right to think others are wrong” – are dead on arrival.
Some points of view simply cannot work in real-life application. There is no logical problem, just a practical one. You can hold the view, but when you promote it, you enter into a contradiction.
The challenge, “You shouldn’t force your morality on me” self-destructs because it’s actually an example of that person “forcing” his morality on you (notice the phrase “you shouldn’t”).
It’s like saying, “You shouldn’t be telling people what they shouldn’t be doing.”
This doesn't violate any laws of logic, but it is self-refuting in practice.
Our job as good tacticians is to spot these self-refutations and graciously point them out to the objector to inform them that their argument has self-destructed.
Read more about this and other tactics in Greg Koukl's book Tactics - A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions. You can also attend a one-day conference with Greg on Saturday, April 4th at Living Water Community Church. More info here: https://www.livingwatercc.com/tactics
Lord willing, coming later this week at BringingTRUTH.com - Taking the Roof Off